Does anyone use anycast DHCP service?

Ryan Malayter malayter at
Mon Aug 13 21:14:18 UTC 2012

On Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 9:10 AM, Leo Bicknell <bicknell at> wrote:

> The ISC implementation is designed to continue to work with a "split
> brain".  I believe the Microsoft solution is as well, but I know
> You are incorrect.  The ISC implementation divides the free addresses
> between the two servers.  The client will only interact with the
> first to respond (literally, no timestamps involved).  Clients
> talking to each half of a split brain can continue to receive
> addresses from the shared range, no timestamps are needed to resolve
> conflicts, because the pool was split prior to the loss of
> server-to-server communication.
> There is a down-side to this design, in that if half the brain goes
> away half of the free addresses become unusable with it until it
> resynchronizes.  This can be mitigated by oversizing the pools.

Glad to hear it is a better design than my first skimming of the
documentation indicated. Essentially,an ISC DHCPD cluster is basically
two independent servers, with the added optimization of replicating
reservations from one system to the other so it can answer renewals
when possible. I still wonder what happens when a renewal happens
during failover, and then the original server comes back on-line, and
a renewal of the same address happens during startup. Hopefully any
node joining a cluster waits until it is fully synchronized before
answering queries.

I've seen so many two-node "HA pair" setups go horribly sideways
during my IT career, I usually assume the worst. Firewalls, load
balancers, stackable switches, databases, SANs, you name it. They all
usually survive the "pull the plug on one node" test during QA, but
that's about it.

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